Rear-end collisions have the potential to cause severe injuries to everyone involved. The force of another vehicle striking yours from behind could cause severe injuries like whiplash or neck and back injuries.
Our OnderLaw, LLC St. Louis car accident attorneys represent those who’ve been hurt in rear-end collisions caused by negligence. If you’ve been hurt, our attorneys could help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call us at (314) 963-9000 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.
What Should I Do if I Get Rear-Ended?
Around 30% of all car wrecks in the country are from one person colliding with the rear of another person’s vehicle. Most injuries involve the neck, spine, and head. Auto insurance claims result in a large number of those accidents due to the physical harm experienced.
Negligence refers to the lack of reasonable care taken to prevent injury to another person. When a motorist rear-ends another driver, he or she is typically at fault. Traffic laws dictate how far everyone should travel behind another car. If the person in front of them brakes suddenly, they should be far enough away that they don’t crash.
If you’re the victim of a rear-end collision, there are some steps you should take before leaving the scene, including:
- Call 911. Every accident that involves injury, fatality, or vehicle damage must get reported to law enforcement. An officer will investigate and write a traffic crash report detailing the events that led to the collision.
- Exchange auto insurance information. Get the other driver’s name, contact information, insurance carrier, and policy number so you can file a claim.
- Take photos of the scene, including damage to the cars.
- Speak to people who witnessed the accident. If anyone saw what happened, write down their names and phone numbers. They could support your claim that the other person who rear-ended you is to blame.
After you gather all the necessary information, it’s essential to seek medical attention right away. A lot of people who get hurt in a rear-end crash experience delayed symptoms. Even if you believe your injury isn’t severe, a doctor should still check you out just in a case. You may have a concussion or internal damage that isn’t easily detectable.
If you decide you want to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault driver, call OnderLaw, LLC. We’ll take on your case and make sure you receive justice. No one should have to pay for their medical costs when it’s someone else’s reckless behavior that caused their injury. We will fight hard to seek justice for you.
How Do I Prove Negligence?
It’s often difficult to prove someone was negligent in a rear-end accident. That’s because determining when and how the driver behind you failed to prevent your injury is subjective. To resolve that problem, Missouri adopted the rear-end collision doctrine. That provides compensation to victims based on three factors. Under the doctrine, you must prove all of the following occurred:
- You had a right to be on the road
- Another car hit you from behind
- You did not engage in any negligent behavior
If you’re able to prove those three factors existed, you’ll likely receive compensation from the other motorist.
How Do Rear-End Accidents Occur?
More often than not, many poor decisions behind the wheel cause someone to rear-end another person. Anyone who tailgates or isn’t paying attention could crash into another driver. The most common reasons rear-end accidents happen include:
- Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone, changing the radio, or using a GPS
- Poor weather conditions, such as heavy rain or icy roads
- Failure to judge the distance needed to stop suddenly
- Improper maintenance of the vehicle, leading to worn-out tires or issues with the brakes
Generally, rear-end collisions result from the person behind another car behaving in an unsafe manner. Motorist’s must drive responsibly to avoid hurting others. When their inattention or rash decisions cause injury, they end up suffering the consequences.
How to Pursue Compensation
If you believe you sustained injuries because of negligence on the part of the other person, you should file an insurance claim. OnderLaw, LLC will handle every step of the legal process for you. We’re able to file claims on your behalf, submit appropriate evidence to the insurance company, and negotiate a fair settlement.
In Missouri, there are three options for pursuing financial compensation after a rear-end crash.
Missouri law requires all drivers to carry liability auto insurance with minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. Those limits cover expenses related to treatment, missed time from work, suffering endured, and repair or replacement of the damaged car.
If there’s apparent negligence, you can file a liability claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance. After the adjuster determines negligence, he or she will accept or deny the claim. Insurance settlements reimburse you for your losses. Negotiation will take place to compensate you for all your past costs and any additional expenses required in the future.
Many states don’t require UM coverage, but Missouri does. UM is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Victims of rear-end collisions use it if the negligent driver either doesn’t carry liability insurance or their bodily injury limits don’t cover all the expenses.
UM reimburses you from your auto insurance carrier. Filing a claim doesn’t usually affect your premium, and you’re entitled to receive compensation regardless of who caused the accident. Depending on the limit you purchased, you could cover your medical expenses and lost wages. However, it doesn’t provide compensation for any vehicle damage.
Medical Payments Claim
Medpay is optional coverage within an auto policy. Law does not require all drivers to purchase it; however, insurance carriers must offer it as an option. It works like health insurance by paying for medical treatment upfront. After seeing your doctor, the bill gets sent directly to your auto insurance company. You can use this coverage up until the limit you chose.
Collision is another optional coverage on an auto policy. Filing a claim allows for payment of any repairs needed or the entire replacement of the car involved in the rear-end crash.
Damages: Expenses Resulting from a Rear-End Accident
Damages are losses incurred after an accident or injury. The costs you receive compensation for is dependent on various factors. The severity of your injury and duration of treatment are two of the most critical factors that determine how much money you deserve. The bodily injury limit also determines the maximum settlement you’re allowed to receive.
Whether you file a liability or UM claim, you could potentially receive compensation for the following damages:
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical bills
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Property damage (for liability claims only)
- Death benefits (in the event that the victim dies and immediate family members decide to pursue compensation)
It’s also possible to pursue punitive damages in an insurance claim or lawsuit. Suing the at-fault driver is the ultimate form of punishment. Instead of securing a settlement from the insurance company, you attempt to win a financial award from the driver.
Punitive damages punish those responsible for injuring another person. It’s a way of holding them accountable for their recklessness and preventing the behavior from happening again in the future.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me?
You can try to handle your rear-end accident case on your own, but it’s easier if you have an attorney to help you with your St. Louis personal injury case. With OnderLaw, LLC by your side, you’ll receive vital legal advice throughout each step of the process. We will make sure the opposing party treats you fairly. Insurance companies try to get away with paying as little money as possible in claims. When an attorney represents you, you’ll likely receive the maximum settlement available.
We understand how overwhelming the aftermath of an accident can be. We aim to relieve your stress and help you get through this challenging time in your life. Leave the hard work to us. We will take care of everything for you so you can recover and get back on your feet.
If you’re worried about the extra financial burden, you should know that OnderLaw, LLC works on contingency-fee-basis. We don’t expect you to pay any upfront fees or costs. We don’t bill you by the hour or for every phone call you make to us. Our legal fees come out of your settlement at the end of your case. We don’t get paid until you get paid.
Schedule a Free Consultation
We offer a free case evaluation to all victims of rear-end crashes. If you need advice or have questions about legal procedures, feel free to schedule an initial consultation. We’ll be happy to meet with you at our office or a location convenient for you. After reviewing the details of your case, we’ll advise the options you have and help you decide what works best for your situation.
Call (314) 963-9000 to speak to an experienced attorney about how we can help you with your rear-end collision case.